I'm usually a word girl. I search for them carefully, string them together into sentences, into paragraphs. They bring meaning, healing, power, change. I believe it. I believe it so much, I'm literally writing a book about it.
But sometimes, like now, words feel empty. Vacant. No matter how much love and well-intentioned meaning I try to pack into them, nothing is going to suffice. They're going to fall short and parents are still left with empty arms and the question "why?" still remains frustratingly unanswered. It's better if I just keep my mouth shut about the whole thing. (Besides, there are far more talented and eloquent people who are addressing the grief with words. I can't add anything they've already said so beautifully. Check out Sarah Bessey and Jen Hatmaker to start.)
If you're like me, you're not one to sit and cry, at least not for very long.
When disaster strikes, I'm a mover. If something terrible happens and there is grief to be felt, I'm not the person you'd call to come and sit with you in the dark. I'm the one that will come over to clean your house top to bottom, do the laundry and feed the dog. I'll stockpile your freezer and make sure your fridge is full. I'll take your kids to the park & pick them up from school. I'll facilitate the shit out of things. I'm sure it's a fault, something I should fix... I don't grieve well.
So when a guy walks into an elementary school in Newtown, CT and kills 20 kindergartners & 6 adults with an assault rifle & handguns... I grieve. I sat and cried for a while on Friday, but then I just couldn't sit anymore. Maybe you're like me and you just can't sit and cry anymore. The tears have run out and now you're angry. It's time to move.
If you're a mover, and you grieve through action like I do, here are three ways you can tangibly help:
2. Sign a White House petition that urges the President to introduce legislation to Congress that addresses gun control.
3. Donate to the My Sandy Hook Family Fund. This is a fund set up by local Newtown residents to help with the immediate and emergency needs of those in the community that lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting. Funds help cover funeral costs, mortgage payments, counseling services, daycare and insurance needs.
There are a whole host of other things that we can do, and this list might seem small and insignificant, but we need to start somewhere.
And, go hug your loved ones. You can never do that enough.